[You flip through the first several pages, which have all been rendered illegible thanks to a generous helping of ink. You can only make out a few words and bits and pieces of Correspondence, from which you gather this was a rather lengthy and perhaps preposterous monograph on the nature of time – this month’s Editorial. At the end, you find a single untouched paragraph, with something handwritten underneath.]
Only fools think they can control time. Time, most unfortunately, has its hold on us all. Though we may label its passage in a myriad different ways, its relentless currents will batter us all the same, unchanging, uncaring. As such, it is ludicrous to care for even the labeling – a year, a century, a lifetime
What was, was, and what will be, will be no matter which day we would desire it to happen on.
As such, who am I to care? Yet I do have a bloody paper to run.
Art of London
The Neathbow Stanzas
by Arthur Nethell
Let me tell you of the Neathbow,
Seven colours that are Not:
In the darkness, long below us,
Where light and love are sought.
Law is light, and truth is spoken;
In their absence, darkness thrives;
Other laws arise in silence,
Twisting, shaping Neathy lives.
First comes Viric, colour blooming:
You can see it in your dreams,
Shallow sleep, by snakes curated,
Thrives under the golden beams.
By Stone’s will, a lie is spoken,
Known as Treachery of Glass:
“Is and Is-not are adjacent:
Through the mirrors, you may pass.”
Next, Irrigo, hue forgotten,
Eating memories and sight;
Truth, consumed by its purple,
Makes spies love its hungry blight;
Lilac words, so soon forgotten,
Whisper, imprint from Below:
“Mine is Memory of Nadir:
What remembered, is so.”
Cosmogone, the lying sunlight,
Parabolan’s daylight glow;
Waking flora, fungus, sleepers:
Warmth is cherished below.
“Tell me, dreamer, what is missed?
Can you hear the hissing voice?
Let the Clocks be what you wish for,
Let the result precede choice.”
Next, Peligin, hue abyssal,
Bluest black and blackest blue,
Found in flesh, and bone, and gristle
Of those with the Zee imbued;
Its words, once by darkness lured,
Are as lashing as the waves:
“Yours, whatever is endured;
Mine, the Treachery of Ways.”
Violant, the sanguine colour,
Shed as sacred and profane;
Shapes in it are unforgotten,
Words, remembered as Cain.
This ink whispers: “Sign the contract,
My domain is of Desire:
For a price both known and obscure,
What you wish, you shall acquire.
Next comes Gant, the hue uneaten,
One by cauls and bones inspired;
Deeply hidden, and revealed
Only when of light deprived.
It will only speak in hollow,
Silent whispers, just like death:
“While your body still can hold life,
You shall draw another Breath.”
And, at last, of zee and coral
Bright blue called Apocyan;
Waking, taking, form-preserving,
Favoured by lying one.
Salt and water, all-dissolving,
Yearn for all that may be Lost.
“Fragile, fleeting recollections:
I preserve them at your cost.”
Partners in Crime
by Humming Belle
Happy ███Old Century from a part-time urchin and her partner in crime!
Musings on the ███ Century
by Den Blackwell?
At the dawn of the19██th Century since the passing of our Lord, it is important to reflect upon the Time we have, the Time we spend, and the Time before our inevitable demise.
What is Time, one may ask?
Time is often seen as a ceaseless wheel eternally spinning on and on, with different players disguising the fact that the same basic conflicts – man vs nature, order vs chaos, light vs dark—never change.
Time may be an open flame—coolest at its center, but wildest at its edges. Such a perspective may seem preposterous, but behind mirrors and Liberated wastelands where fire is extinguished, there is merit to such an esoteric metaphor.
Time could also be a restrictive Chain, a concept that defines beginning and end—life and death if you will—whose Treachery all are subject to in the Neath.
Therefore, many gamble for more Time, as it is seen as the postponement of their ultimate Reckoning. The end is Death, the ultimate enemy of all life, and they will paradoxically invest their Time to create more Time for themselves, Seeking to outwit Entropy and delay the inevitable, no matter the cost.
Others will spend Time just like how we trade away gold or diamonds, mining away such Hours only for something else to devour all that was worked for.
I have it on good word that a certain Master equates Time to a vessel—a Cup if you will—that is only as valuable as what one fills it with. Then again, the same Master states that Time is a reflective Mirror that reveals one’s true nature, for better or worse.
To me, all these different symbols of Time are irrelevant.
To me, Time is Now, and Now will soon be Gone.
This year—this Century—cherish the Time we all have, cherish the Now rather than the Past or the Future. It is in the Now where our lives have purpose, where we can choose between the Is and the Is-Not. With Time we can define our Fate, and let no one else say otherwise.
Let Time be the Key to Us, Now and…
by A. R. Harley
Time was running out.
Those fucking rats S____, R_____, and G________ in the Senate Republican Conference had told him a few hours ago that his position was untenable, and the longer he held out from resignation the worse it would be for the party in the coming midterms. God forbid removal actually come to the floor, of course. When asked how many votes for acquittal he could gather up, he simply sighed. “Maybe fifteen.” He was lying, he had to be. The President of the United States was not an idiot, he knew that S____ had been spending the last few months talking to J____ F___ about preparing for an ‘inevitable’ transition in administrations. Even A_____, one of his few remaining allies in congress, signaled that it was time to hang up the hat. And god, F___. That snake F___. For all the trouble and stink T__ A____ brought, at least he was a loyal attack dog. J____ hadn’t even bothered to show up to the meeting with the congressmen. There were already whispers coming from the Vice President’s office about which cabinet officials they’d dump and which they’d keep, who would be J____’s veep as they braved the midterms and headed into a most likely unfriendly 19__. And from there, perhaps T__ K______, the last of that mick dynasty, might just walk out of a fatal car crash and into the goddamn Oval Office. Hate. Hate filled the President. For the gays, the communists, the Vietnamese, the Democrats, the Republicans, the dope fiends, the hippies, the liberals, and of course J___ K______ and G_____ B___. All the while, that scrawny K________ sat quietly on a couch, reading over a series of notes, his beady little bespectacled eyes glinting quite strangely off the setting DC sun and the fluorescents illuminating the room.
Time was running out.
London had become a losing investment decades ago. Few of the Masters liked the place to begin with, and as it aged, and the Great Game reached new heights of disquieting meddlesomeness, that dislike only worsened. It wouldn’t take too Nocturnal a poet to discuss in rather florid language how London seemed to breathe, move, even dance. But those days were over. London was choking, sputtering, spinning out of control. It lost whatever remaining power it had over the Empire following a rather controversial clause in the Treaty of Versailles, as the new British Commonwealth, capital in Birmingham, followed a general trend of democracies popping up all across the world. Some considered this to be the death blow to the Master’s plots to take another City – no more were the age of Kings, Empresses, Khans, people who had petty mortal plots and schemes, loves and loves lost. By and large the people in charge of cities, in charge of nations, were professional politicians. They’d been domesticated, and as such were very reticent to signing away the very thing they’d worked decades to reach the top of. Paris never even got off the ground, Moscow was too concerned with newfound ‘ideals’ and ‘virtues’, the Masters even made a play for Berlin, but that paranoid freak H______ was just too up on his Neathian knowledge for the man atop it all to sign the finale of the [REDACTED]. The Masters’ plays were becoming more and more blatant, and their failures more and more public, and as it was that many Londoners and some Masters too thought there would never be a Sixth City. That the sun would never rise on the last remnant of the British Empire.
On the morning of the 8th, when in another world J____ F___ would be told he’d be ascending to the Presidency at around eleven AM, instead a group of men in strange robes were observed by the Vice President’s lackeys entering the Oval Office. Only the President and K________ were in the room at the time. The tape recorder was turned off, a most unusual fact – even after the Smoking Gun tape came out a few days ago, the President still insisted on it’s continual operation and recording of important conversations. Across town, a few apparatchiks from both parties were busy putting the final touches on the Judiciary Commitee’s report on the articles of impeachment. “That won’t matter anymore.”, was one of the few bits of dialogue overheard, in this instance by a passing staffer walking past the door to the Oval Office, spoken in a strange, shrill voice. None in F___’s staff knew what to make of it. After a couple of hours, the men in robes left, and the President walked with them out, himself now sporting a robe just like theirs. K________ called out “Dick, just one more-“. The President glared back at him. He caught himself and cleared his throat. “Sorry, Mr. President. I’ll speak with you again once it’s finished.”
It was then, at 3:17 PM, Eastern Standard Time, the 8th of August ████, that those lounging by the Potomac began to notice a horde of bats rise up from nowhere in particular.
And so the Sixth City fell, not out of love, as the others did, but out of hate.
News of Art, Art of News
he Century Clock Ticks ████Back To An ███Old Hour
The surface and Neath alike, or at least those who hold the Gregorian calendar in any regard, are in full swing of preparations for a rather momentous occasion. As this the year 1899 nears its ███beginning, we await with baited breath the arrival of the ███ century and the year 1███899.
For some in the Neath and in London itself, this moment is nothing but a trifle; an event seen many times before, to be seen many times again, another proverbial notch on the proverbial wall. Our city, of course, is young in this chain of tragedies and its inhabitants, though grizzled by the life and death – and lack thereof – in this dark underland have perhaps not yet come to the full realization of their longevity. Indeed, for many of us, this is not the last tick of the century clock we shall see in our lifetimes, and such a realization may become much too difficult to think about.
Indeed, although this reminder of the constant passage of time might make one wonder about their own future, the centuries that will wash over them, it is perhaps a grim reminder of the permanency of residence here, away from the lawful light of the Sun.
One might revolt at such a thought, recoil at the possibility of never tasting the wonders of a blue sky, retch when they consider they might- [The rest of the article is blotted out to the point of unreadability]
The Rat Market Opens Its Doors!
Above the lights and bustle of the Flowerdene Market, a smaller market lights its stalls. Inside, rats of all kinds, sizes, and colours trade in various peculiar wares. This market, strictly speaking, was always there, at least for as long as rats came to somewhat of a prominence in London. Now, however, this Rat Market has opened its doors for other, less rodentine creatures – perhaps even to you!
To enter this venerable place of commerce, one must be a rat. Fortunately, thanks to the miracle of modern politics, one can now become a rat. Through a simple ritual, which will only take about an hour (give or take the wait in a line), a willing human may enter this realm of commerce and partake of its many offerings.
The Rat Market’s wares are in a constant flux, their trades guided by rat-astronomy. No comments were offered when our reporters inquired as to where and how these seasons are exactly determined. In the market, one may barter for Rat Shillings, which can be in turn exchanged for various raitems (rat-items).
Behold the holy beard hairs of St. Eligius! Marvel at the Venge-Rat warders! Arm yourself with the ratwork pocket piece! Do you want big diamonds? They have big diamonds!
The false-season is Winter.
The rat-reason is Skitter-Scatter.
The phase of the rat-moon is Soft.
The rat-wind blows Westward.
Ask Mother Goose
Dear Mother Goose,
Recently you know that the [CENSORED] Empress made an [EXCISED] decision to [EXPLETIVES REMOVED] ████ 1899 with 1899 again. I’m not sure how to feel about this. What should I do?
I know these are tough times for all of us. Now more than ever it’s important to not lose your head. Keep looking forward – it is where the future is, after all. Years will come, and years will ██stay. Though it may look difficult, perhaps even impossible, if you stay strong and employ the help of all those who love you, you, too, will persevere through these tough times.
If you’re a calendar maker, consider the benefits – no need to keep anyone but the printer in employ!
Sincerely, Mother Goose
[On the back of the paper you find a tattered and faded advert]
Hear , hear ! The celebrations near! The old century ██ ████ – long live the ███old century!
In the absence of , His Amused Lordship invites you to the ███████ Celebration! In the centre of London, next and around His Amused estate, a revel to all revels will place from December the until all excitement shall !
Come see the -snake! Enjoy the tavern of thou delights! ugh at the comedic of the All-Bird Troupe!
A is free! Joy is ! Your desired!